Your advice is pretty lousy.
They are talking abut valves with a long shaft and the actual valve
seat is some distance down the pipe. The come in lengths from about 4
inches all the way up to a foot.
On an ordinary valve the plastic seals will melt long before the
solder joint melts if you are heating the valve from the outside with
a propane torch. The solder joint is going to be behind the bib and
in the wall.
My advice to use a plumbing torch to thaw an outside faucet is lousy?
What's your advice then smart-ass?
I don't know when new homes started to be built with those, but
obviously the OP doesn't have one of those types of valves (or if he
does, he doesn't know it).
It slipped my mind that they exist - anyone saying that their water
valve is 1-foot inside their wall was technically correct, but it would
have been more useful to say that they have a deep-reach or long-shaft
I've installed (soldered) traditional gate and ball-type water valves
around my home without taking them apart first, and they operate fine
after installation. They either have high-temperature rubber or
teflon. My exterior back-yard house faucet is a manifold of 3
lever-operated ball valves (they are quieter than gate valves) and none
of their internal gaskets melted as a result of heat during soldering.
He's not going to be heating it where the pipe solders into the valve
behind the bib. If there is water in it he will never be able to
unsolder it. He's going to be heating it from the outside and the
other poster is corrrect, he should not put the torch flame on the
stem or the packing nut. Yes they do have high temp plastic but you
still don't want to put a torch on it. Ideally he would use the torch
in the area at the bottom between the underside of the valve stem and
the bib. The water enters the actual valve from the bottom on most
common outdoor faucets.
A few minutes with a heat gun or a high powered hair dryer pointed at
the bottom will achieve the same thing and is completely safe. Its
not as if we're trying to come up with a high speed assembly line
here, he's already spent a bunch of time trying penetrating oil on
it. Not to mention just about everyone has access to a hair dryer and
not nearly so many people have propane or mapp torchs.
As for manly I'll raise you and say I can unfreeze it in under 5
seconds with my oxy/act and a rosebud but I'm still more likely to use
my heat gun.
I prefer the long stem valves myself but I know that in NC and VA I
have owned multiple houses that did not have them and also did not
have an interior shutoff valve. Buliders are cheap.
I've got no problem with that advice.
Personally I'd just use the torch on mine. Brick walls.
But hot water works.
I thawed a car radiator that was blocked with ice at about 0 degrees F
by dousing it with a couple gallons of hot water.
Gonna have a sunny day any time soon? That will likely do it all by
itself. Catch it just as the wall with the faucet slips into shade,
before it refreezes. If you have an old windowpane and some boards or
cardboard, a greenhouse around it will help matters. If the faucet is
always in shade, duct tape a hair-dryer to it, pointing at the valve
body, the part that is actually frozen/full of slush. BP Blaster, et al,
only lubes the knob shaft, which is probably fine.
Yep, I finally broke down and bought that same exact torch. Very handy
tool, and makes sweating a lot easier.
It's also really handy for lighting the barbeque when the piezo unit is on
the fritz, and I'm not in the mood to fix it.
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